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JDaddy, I have the Bowser 32 inch from 22 years ago....It’s not near the same construction as the Millhouse or the Ross TT. I would love to have the Millhouse buts it would be simply to much work to change. We did modify the Bowser, added scale rail, a ballbearing 3/8 shaft, floating Bogies, etc....We use the PTC 3 NYRS Indexing system.  It works fine....If you use the big wooden wheel underneath and the friction motor, it wobbles....It was great for years ago, but the new ones today are much better.  Lots more money....1B2BA422-9497-4C0F-9DF5-2535CBEF445A2C2A3A06-9EB3-40BB-BA32-4C6F48284BF6F72916F9-6828-44FD-B195-348F7DE22A38B84BD238-A968-4CB5-A4BD-6A82841A7D8C8770705F-8874-44DD-9719-A757CA7DB4CFF683BAD9-7C53-4688-B973-811196C8072063846420-61F3-47AD-B1B2-CAFCD95CD66A

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Korber 304, Base 3 stall kit,  304A, add one stall,  and 304B extension, are available, and work well with any turntable 30" to 32".  Space between the edge of the TT and the front of the Roundhouse is about 12", each TT spur track should center in the stall, at least  up to 6, 8 stalls.

The 304B extension, add on.



Edit/Add 9:00AM 9/26/21.  Older Diamond Scale TT,  an assembled kit.

IMG_2754[1]

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Last edited by Mike CT

RickM46,

I think you misunderstood Dr. Jack's earlier comment about not having to cut a circle.  If I understand correctly, the Millhouse TT comes as a circular piece of aluminum with some connected aluminum feet.  You have to cut a circle in your layout and push the aluminum circle up from the bottom so that the feet can be screwed to your benchwork.

On the other hand, the Ross TT comes already attached to a hunk of square plywood.  Thus, instead of cutting out a circle, with the Ross you just cut out a square.  Many people find a square cut less daunting than a circular cut.

Chuck

 I wanted a turntable to take to modular layout shows that was large enough for the articulated engines that club members were running.   The turntable module had to be light to be lifted solo into my van for transport to shows,  thin to allow additional modules and gear to be piled on in the van, durable to withstand handling, and simple to setup the morning of a show (less than an hour).  The turntables demonstrated at York didn't satisfy those criteria.

With my previous experience cutting circles (AKA "router on a stick") in plywood while building Dobsonian telescopes, a turntable was just another circle cutting exercise, so I broke out the router. The turntable is 34.5" (Big Boy size) in a 4ft x 4ft module frame.  The module sides frames are 1x4s with Luan plywood decking, selectively reinforced with a double layer.  The assembled weight is at the limit of what I can manage.  Construction uses a Dobsonian-inspired Formica + Teflon bearing.  The floor of the turntable well (half the bearing) rotates (yes, its not prototypical unless you consider the B&O roundhouse turntable, but works well for this module).  Appearance is tinplate with an Erector set operator's house, no fragile handrails, etc.  

I motorized the turntable using a friction drive gear motor but discovered that large locomotive weights caused slipping (this IS prototypical) of the drive system.   I considered a stepper motor, gear drive, and indexing but a solution that would eliminate slipping added unacceptable weight.  I also found that casual operators at shows needed practice to control the motor for precise positioning.  So, the motor was removed and the KISS principle now works.  Operators can use the ever-reliable Armstrong motor and optical alignment techniques for rotating the bridge to the desired track.

Slip rings on the turntable bearing for bridge track power were considered but the initial solution (a quick hack) of extra length wires that could twist and untwist has lasted nearly two decades unchanged.

Wiring toggle switches to 16 tracks was a PITA.

If you are have woodworking skills (especially with a router), building a manual turntable for Big Boys is straight forward.  Making it light and portable is an additional challenge.  Wiring is always tedious.  You can do this for $100 in materials and your labor.  Scale appearance and detailing are up to you.  The difference between a DIY manual drive solution and the $$$$ turntables shown at York are in the reliable motorization and indexing systems the vendors offer, plus the nice scale details.  Having a turntable in your layout is a real plus.  At our modular shows, turntable operations always draw a crowd of spectators and, with the slow speed operation of today's locomotives, running locos in out of storage tracks is fun.  You really need one on your layout - DIY or buy one - you won't be disappointed.

John

repair technician posted:

George how long is your actual track length on the turntable? looks like it could take the longest engine!

thanks for your input

Alan

 

I believe it is 36" of Atlas track. It has been a few years since I built it, but that was my goal. It should handle the longest engines with their tenders, e.g. BigBoy, Allegheny, etc.

George

Tracker John posted:

 I wanted a turntable to take to modular layout shows that was large enough for the articulated engines that club members were running.   The turntable module had to be light to be lifted solo into my van for transport to shows,  thin to allow additional modules and gear to be piled on in the van, durable to withstand handling, and simple to setup the morning of a show (less than an hour).  The turntables demonstrated at York didn't satisfy those criteria.

With my previous experience cutting circles (AKA "router on a stick") in plywood while building Dobsonian telescopes, a turntable was just another circle cutting exercise, so I broke out the router. The turntable is 34.5" (Big Boy size) in a 4ft x 4ft module frame.  The module sides frames are 1x4s with Luan plywood decking, selectively reinforced with a double layer.  The assembled weight is at the limit of what I can manage.  Construction uses a Dobsonian-inspired Formica + Teflon bearing.  The floor of the turntable well (half the bearing) rotates (yes, its not prototypical unless you consider the B&O roundhouse turntable, but works well for this module).  Appearance is tinplate with an Erector set operator's house, no fragile handrails, etc.  

I motorized the turntable using a friction drive gear motor but discovered that large locomotive weights caused slipping (this IS prototypical) of the drive system.   I considered a stepper motor, gear drive, and indexing but a solution that would eliminate slipping added unacceptable weight.  I also found that casual operators at shows needed practice to control the motor for precise positioning.  So, the motor was removed and the KISS principle now works.  Operators can use the ever-reliable Armstrong motor and optical alignment techniques for rotating the bridge to the desired track.

Slip rings on the turntable bearing for bridge track power were considered but the initial solution (a quick hack) of extra length wires that could twist and untwist has lasted nearly two decades unchanged.

Wiring toggle switches to 16 tracks was a PITA.

If you are have woodworking skills (especially with a router), building a manual turntable for Big Boys is straight forward.  Making it light and portable is an additional challenge.  Wiring is always tedious.  You can do this for $100 in materials and your labor.  Scale appearance and detailing are up to you.  The difference between a DIY manual drive solution and the $$$$ turntables shown at York are in the reliable motorization and indexing systems the vendors offer, plus the nice scale details.  Having a turntable in your layout is a real plus.  At our modular shows, turntable operations always draw a crowd of spectators and, with the slow speed operation of today's locomotives, running locos in out of storage tracks is fun.  You really need one on your layout - DIY or buy one - you won't be disappointed.

John

John,

 

I just saw this thread. I just wanted to point out with our TT the circular hole is great for tight installations where you don't have room for a large square top. Our TT has all the support it needs since it is welded aluminum. One feature you will like for a traveling layout is our bridge lifts out of out tables with one wire disconnect. This allows you to put the bridge in a separate travel case from the pit so the details on the bridge don't get damaged during transit. 2nd point on circular hole, it is easy to install. remove bridge from TT, flip TT over on top of layout and trace outside of pit wall onto plywood, slide TT up through hole in layout and install mounting bolts in welded tabs. Done

Most people have it installed and running in about an hour.

Oh, and if layout design changes, or if it was installed into a permanent layout. To remove TT simply remove mounting bolts and drop out for next house or layout spot without any damage or chiseling scenery from TT where our tables with wood tops have all the scenery material attached to them. Ours, the scenery only touches the outside of the aluminum pit wall. 

I just thought I would point out the design benefits of our table over the wood square top tables.

Enjoy

 

CSX Al posted:
Tracker John posted:

 I wanted a turntable to take to modular layout shows that was large enough for the articulated engines that club members were running.   The turntable module had to be light to be lifted solo into my van for transport to shows,  thin to allow additional modules and gear to be piled on in the van, durable to withstand handling, and simple to setup the morning of a show (less than an hour).  The turntables demonstrated at York didn't satisfy those criteria.

With my previous experience cutting circles (AKA "router on a stick") in plywood while building Dobsonian telescopes, a turntable was just another circle cutting exercise, so I broke out the router. The turntable is 34.5" (Big Boy size) in a 4ft x 4ft module frame.  The module sides frames are 1x4s with Luan plywood decking, selectively reinforced with a double layer.  The assembled weight is at the limit of what I can manage.  Construction uses a Dobsonian-inspired Formica + Teflon bearing.  The floor of the turntable well (half the bearing) rotates (yes, its not prototypical unless you consider the B&O roundhouse turntable, but works well for this module).  Appearance is tinplate with an Erector set operator's house, no fragile handrails, etc.  

I motorized the turntable using a friction drive gear motor but discovered that large locomotive weights caused slipping (this IS prototypical) of the drive system.   I considered a stepper motor, gear drive, and indexing but a solution that would eliminate slipping added unacceptable weight.  I also found that casual operators at shows needed practice to control the motor for precise positioning.  So, the motor was removed and the KISS principle now works.  Operators can use the ever-reliable Armstrong motor and optical alignment techniques for rotating the bridge to the desired track.

Slip rings on the turntable bearing for bridge track power were considered but the initial solution (a quick hack) of extra length wires that could twist and untwist has lasted nearly two decades unchanged.

Wiring toggle switches to 16 tracks was a PITA.

If you are have woodworking skills (especially with a router), building a manual turntable for Big Boys is straight forward.  Making it light and portable is an additional challenge.  Wiring is always tedious.  You can do this for $100 in materials and your labor.  Scale appearance and detailing are up to you.  The difference between a DIY manual drive solution and the $$$$ turntables shown at York are in the reliable motorization and indexing systems the vendors offer, plus the nice scale details.  Having a turntable in your layout is a real plus.  At our modular shows, turntable operations always draw a crowd of spectators and, with the slow speed operation of today's locomotives, running locos in out of storage tracks is fun.  You really need one on your layout - DIY or buy one - you won't be disappointed.

John

John,

 

I just saw this thread. I just wanted to point out with our TT the circular hole is great for tight installations where you don't have room for a large square top. Our TT has all the support it needs since it is welded aluminum. One feature you will like for a traveling layout is our bridge lifts out of out tables with one wire disconnect. This allows you to put the bridge in a separate travel case from the pit so the details on the bridge don't get damaged during transit. 2nd point on circular hole, it is easy to install. remove bridge from TT, flip TT over on top of layout and trace outside of pit wall onto plywood, slide TT up through hole in layout and install mounting bolts in welded tabs. Done

Most people have it installed and running in about an hour.

Oh, and if layout design changes, or if it was installed into a permanent layout. To remove TT simply remove mounting bolts and drop out for next house or layout spot without any damage or chiseling scenery from TT where our tables with wood tops have all the scenery material attached to them. Ours, the scenery only touches the outside of the aluminum pit wall. 

I just thought I would point out the design benefits of our table over the wood square top tables.

Enjoy

 

I have to attest to Al’s post. I’m not a big guy and I was able to get my 28 inch MRS TT installed in about an hour all by myself. 

RickM46 posted:
Dr. Jack posted:

Have a Ross, since they came out, no problems whatever.  Easy to install, no having to cut out a circle in order to install on the layout. 

Jack

Hi Jack.  Having no experience with a turntable, I got quite an education regarding TT's in this thread.  I thought you would have to make a recess hole in your layout floor/base to accommodate the mechanism of the TT so that you could mount the TT flush to align its track with yours.  You indicated 'no having to cut out a circle to install on the layout'.  Maybe you could explain how you did that?  

Rick,

It is a very simple process to mount our TT. Simply unplug bridge with one wire disconnect for table, lift out. turn pit upside down on layout top, trace pit wall on layout, cut hole, insert up through hole and fasten tabs to layout plywood. That's it. Have trains running in about an hour.   

PRR1950 posted:

So CSX Al, does your turntable magically adjust to different plywood widths used by builders?  Does it magically adjust based on whether or not the installer uses homasote on top of the plywood?  Methinks you brag a little too much about how easy installation is.

Chuck

Chuck, like Al says above the turntable has 1.5" of adjustment.  If your plywood/homasote, cork, foam, whatever sandwich is less than that thick then his table will fit fine.  Given my experience with Al, if your sandwich is thicker than that then he can custom-build a turntable that will fit your sandwich.  Methinks he tells it like it is.  As someone in the sports world once said, "If it's true then it ain't bragging."

Millhouse, hands down, it’s the best made, best looking, a one time purchase and will last you a Lifetime, offering unlimited pleasure…. Enjoy. It can be controlled several ways, one bring with your Legacy Remote, or simply use the keypad…. It’s a Wow.. If you divide the cost by 15 years of fun, it’s not expensive at all. Great Question. It will be the Focal Point of your Railroad.

To reverse a loco, it only needs to turn 180°. Is the B&O Mus. example the only one that existed in prototype, no short line, mining road, logging example known?  And has anybody ordered or built one of these three brands discussed...or ? commercial brand detailed to look like it is armstrong or a gallows turntable  I have a couple of gallows turntable kits from out of the past, but they look very flimsy for operation, even manual, much less powered. I have seen prototype photos of very short turntables turning Alaskan rail "critter", and streetcars, but doubt if anyone has built a powered model.

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